I was originally going to go to the Wednesday date on this tour, but that fell through for various mostly work-related reasons, making it even more imperative that I get out for the Metal Thursday version. The late-breaking Goreality appearance sealed the deal even further; for a band as ballpunchingly awesome as they are, they don't play outside New Bedford a whole lot, and that, like Providence, is just outside my "willing to drive to for a normal show" radius.
Of course, I should have planned a little better if I had known that 290 was going to be all fucked up, which made going in slow and coming back complicated. This sucked, but ultimately didn't matter; despite the traffic and the weird road closures, I got over well in time to get in and get a beer before the bands started.
Humanity Falls [5/7]
When I went over to their table to buy some swag after their set, and ended up talking with Eston for a bit, about the first thing he remarked on was the Maruta patch on my rig, which was only logical: their set, death-flavored but heavily grindcore, staffed out as vox+drums+guitar, had me thinking of Maruta's performance with Impaled two years back first off as well. Humanity Falls isn't quite that developed yet, and though the band did a hell of a job holding up these songs with just the one guitar and the drumkit, I can see where other people would be coming from in suggesting that they might add a bassist (back) or another guitar. The floor wasn't really enthusiastic, but the crowd had only started to fill in during their set; it might also be argued that this wasn't the sort of grind crowd that would get super up for this material, but I'd be more inclined to argue a weird down night for people getting hit at Metal Thursday. This was a good performance from a band that's already gotten significantly better than their demo; if they come back to Boston and are in at the Democracy Center, the Midway on a grind bill, or any DIY space, watch out, because people are going to completely lose their shit.
Much as on the last time I saw them, on NEDF 2009, Abdicate put out a good thumping performance of sold brutal death metal in that good old New York way. They'd changed out a few members recently -- the bassist and singer were new, the latter conspicuously so by not being a 12-foot yeti -- but there didn't appear to be any adverse effect from getting the new guys integrated so shortly before hitting the road, and as this package goes on, the band's probably going to get tighter even from here. They still don't, to me, step out and immediately separate themselves from the general brutal-death sound, but regardless, they do this music very well, and are worth a listen when the tour package comes around to your area.
Because I am a moron, I spent about the first half of their first song thinking "wow, the member change has a definite effect, they're not nearly as slammy as I remembered them", because I'd read the promo materials wrong and thought that Abacinate was playing. The logo on their merch and CDs should have tipped me off, but apparently, no effect; chalk this one up either to getting old or, more likely, that I've had a pile of bricks located where my thinking apparatus ought to be the entire time.
Between one thing and another, I'm not sure that I've ever seen Goreality twice with the same lineup. This one seems to be still coming together to a degree, but for the first time in a while, Goreality is a five-piece again, and it makes a difference when it comes to their songs. I've seen better sets from the band, but this was still a good and powerful one, with all the pieces back in place, and a relentlessly high and solid level of execution throughout. Hopefully, this lineup will stick for a while and we'll get some new material; even since Perverse Depraved Indifference three years ago is too long for a band this good.
Maybe it was just that I wasn't as significantly challenged to keep from getting knocked unconscious as at some gigs in the past, but this came out as a really top-shelf Dysentery set, a ne plus ultra of locked-in, floor-pounding, relentless slam riffage that really should have gotten people a lot more violent than it did. By any other band's standards, there was a decent amount of movement, but this was Dysentery, even more absolutely on than they've been in the past, and so of course Will is taunting the crowd: "I'm down here on the floor with you guys, and I'm not scared at all. If this was New York somebody'd've hit me already." People rose to the challenge after that, but not to the extent that's made Dysentery's pits so legendary in the past. Part of this may be just natural cycles: Dysentery gets people going apeshit, so the floor turns into a Mas Oyama kumite-sen, so people get scared that their whole face is going to get kicked off, so they don't pile in, so pits get more placid, which encourages people to dive in and go crazier, repeat. Even taking that long view, it's kind of depressing to lose to New York at anything, so it may be worth training up again or getting knee surgery done in order to do something, at Dysentery gigs, beyond keeping people from running into the wall or into metal poles at speed.
At the end of the night, though, all my joints were still in place, so it was pretty trivial to lumber back out and pick my way back to the highway, despite the 290-90 exchange being closed. This made things a little more complicated than they needed to be, but I got home in one piece, and actually managed to get this writeup out in some kind of timely fashion. Next show may not be for a while; I'm on call this week and then have a conflict with Hypocrisy on Saturday -- and anything further out than that is going to require actual planning.